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Havok Launches Next Generation Physics Engine

btarunr

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#1
Havok, a leading provider of interactive 3D game technology, today announced the launch of a major new version of its industry-leading Havok Physics technology. The release is the culmination of more than 5 years of internal R&D effort. It features significant technical innovations in performance, memory utilization, usability and simulation quality, and represents a major leap forward in physics simulation for games.

Designed from the ground up for the computing architectures that will define games for the next decade, this release targets next-generation home consoles, mobile and PC while continuing to offer full support for current generation consoles.

"This release of Havok Physics marks the third major iteration of our physics technology since the company was founded 15 years ago. Although Havok Physics is widely recognized as the industry's leading physics solution, our R&D team is constantly striving to innovate and push the technology further," said Andrew Bond, Vice President of Technology for Havok. "The result is a new engine core built around fully continuous simulation that enables maximum physical fidelity with unprecedented performance speeds. Beta versions of the technology have been in the hands of a number of leading developers for some time and we have seen dramatic performance gains with simulations running twice as fast or more, and using up to 10 times less memory. Additionally the new core's performance is extremely predictable, eliminating performance spikes. We are genuinely excited to see how game designers will harness the additional power that we are offering with this release."

"At 2K Czech, our games demand a physics solution that can scale efficiently and handle highly detailed interactive environments. Having recently moved to the next generation of Havok Physics, we've been blown away by how Havok's new physics technology is able to make highly efficient utilization of all available hardware cores with a very lean runtime memory footprint," said Laurent Gorga, Technical Director at 2K Czech. "This combination allows us to deliver the high quality simulation at the scale we need and we are really looking forward to making some incredible games with the new technology."

Havok is currently scheduling meetings for technical reviews of its latest Physics technology at GDC March 27th– March 29th.

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#2
So AMD drops in TressFX, Nvidia ports PhysX into PS4, and now Havoc gets a new version release?

 
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#3
Well, this is interesting... considering AMD's "nicer" performance on multi-core applications VS Intel (on i5 vs 8xxx), won't this actually help AMD overall in game performance and benchmarks?
I mean, new Haswell i5 models seem to be the same quad-core/quad-thread... VS... the "octa" FX-83xx models that are getting a bit of advantage on high core-dependent games...
Unless Intel plans to push gamers to buy the i7 models instead... getting people to upgrade to the lower i7's for an extra bit of cash.

This all depends on how much the developers will adopt it (and Haswell "horsepower"), but if they do, this seems a good opportunity for AMD... if they could get some lower TDP cpus out there, and if they could maintain and advantage on "multi-core" performance, they could finally have a very nice flag to wave out there and also force Intel to drop the lower i7 prices a bit in response.
 
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#4
Ah! This is exciting, Havok is used in so many game engines I've played on over the past few years. The amount of competition that comes along with these launches makes the user benefit so much :toast:
 
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#5
Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better than PhysX

Can't wait to see games start using this well... it's about time we got improved physics in games.
 
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#6
Utilise all available hardware cores? ???? Have they got gpu acceleration working? ??
 

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#7
Neat. I await the demonstration.
 

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#8
Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better than PhysX

Can't wait to see games start using this well... it's about time we got improved physics in games.
With the included Intel Wallet to help fund it.
 
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#9
Hopefully this new engine is a significant increase over the old rather than some little enhancements here and there.
 
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#10
Hopefully this new engine is a significant increase over the old rather than some little enhancements here and there.
it should since:

The release is the culmination of more than 5 years of internal R&D effort
Those 5 years will have gone to waste if there would just be little added.
 
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#11
So AMD drops in TressFX, Nvidia ports PhysX into PS4, and now Havoc gets a new version release?
Pretty sure TressFX is just regular direct compute physics which is why it works on nvidia GPUs. That's the only game in town now for gpu physics since all next gen consoles are AMD powered, physx is probably dead no matter how much cash nvidia throws at it. The only battle will be between havok cpu physics and direct compute. That could go on for awhile as different developers and games have different needs.
 
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#12
So AMD drops in TressFX, Nvidia ports PhysX into PS4, and now Havoc gets a new version release?
nvidia didnt port anything into ps4, its the same as on x360 or ps3 >> Cpu based physx3 sdk.


Anyway cool and about time Havok did something new :)
 
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#13
Reading not-so-much in-between the lines, one would think this was still primarily CPU-based, as they seem to be flogging it using less resources and running on a multitude of platforms. Badly-written PR is bad.

That said, we know different.

At the PS4 tech unveiling they showcased the age-old ball demo, which Havok declares on their site is not only used the most recent version of the SDK, but it was declared on-stage that it was running 'primarily on the GPU'.

Havok Physics Playstation 4 Demo - YouTube

At any rate...sweet. It only took 7 1/2 years for this to become (an announced) reality. Either way, finally...interactive physics (like tressfx) and not just swirling papers on the floor.
 
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#14
It looks like it was the one previewed at the PS4 announcement




JINXS!!!
 
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#15
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#17
A lot of people here seem to lack the understanding of OpenCL as a software language running on compatible hardware http://www.khronos.org/opencl/

And Physics software engines that run on CPU cores, and compatible GPU architectures .
http://www.nvidia.com/content/GTC/documents/1077_GTC09.pdf
AMD Shows First OpenCL-Based Game Physics: Havok C...

Third party proprietary software or running proprietary language.

CUDA /Physx (Nvidia)
Havok

Two common examples.


Open source Physics engines

TressFX (AMD using OpenCL)
Bullet Physics

Hardware = something you can put your hands on.
Software = binary code in high language forms that run on the hardware.

OpenCL = A standard for hardware to use/meet specifications of so that software written for it can use the hardware.
Physics engine = software that performs physical interaction computations on the CPU or GPU.
Closed Source = Proprietary software that only through licensing agreements can people or usually companies use, and mostly pay a licensing fee for the use of.
Open Source = Software and source code available for free to developers and end users alike without fees and the only agreement is usually listing the original source for the code.
 
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#18
Now we'll see how smart they'll use Havok. I bet they'll use it like bunch of hooligans, overdoing things so it will run like crap (though Havok users tend not to do that). There are examples of good usage, Max Payne 2 and Half-Life 2. Painkiller and Unreal series were also done pretty good though mostly focused on ragdolls.

I bet Havok could be used to simulate Lara's hair and also vegetation nearby if done right. All with CPU. Lara already had hair simulated in Legend and Underworld and they just overdone it in Tomb Raider 2013 yet it still looks poor if you ask me because vegetation 2m away wiggles around in a static manner, ruining the whole thing. Pointless. If EARTH 2150 game more than a decade ago could make factory smoke and snowstorm move in the same direction of the wind, surely they could do the same today. But no, like always, they overdo one thing and neglect other. Boring and stupid.
 
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#19
HA, better physics than PhySx with no additional hardware and better performance?! Hell yeah! Bring it on! And please producers, just dump that nVidia crap already.
 
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#20
HA, better physics than PhySx with no additional hardware and better performance?! Hell yeah! Bring it on! And please producers, just dump that nVidia crap already.
Agreed! I hate having to switch machines just to enjoy a game with physx. I can just see consumers falling for marketing about physics in the game and then realize that it doesn't work the way it was advertised because you are running on Radeons instead of Geforce.
 
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#21
The main selling point of Havok is that it works on all hardware. So it can be used in core gameplay elements. WHich you simply can't do with PhysX because not everyone have GeForce card. And if not everyone have them, you can't afford to cut off roughly 50% of potential buyers. So they only use PhysX for useless gimmicky stuff no one really cares about. And because NVIDIA is pushing it so hard they often intentionally make CPU physics look pathetic just so PhysX looks better. Even though we all know the same could easily be done using just CPU.
Good example is pathetic glass shattering in Mirror's Edge. I've seen CPU based games that had far superior glass shattering and they were released 10 years ago.

I also wonder why no one optimizes physics. Graphics are all one big faked effect where with physics, they always make scientific lab grade calculations. I bet you could loosen up the precision a bit and make it progressive based on distance from the viewportso it could make it look like it's real but it wouldn't really be realistic. Because right now they spend so much calculation power in single things it's ridiculous. AMD's TressFX for just hair alone and it brings the whole thing to its knees. WHY!? So the rest of these scene is static ugly crap? I'd much rather see hair that is semi realistic but there would also be vegetation that behaves realistically when you shoot it or walk through it. Instead it looks absolutely pathetic. But the hair is awesome. That's the most important thing. Not.
 
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#22
I think because doing advanced physics on games take more time, and you also need really good programers and such. And most of today's games are console ports, so nobody cares. Basic physics is enough.
Hopefully with the next generation of consoles things will change. HOPEFULLY...
 

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#23
The main selling point of Havok is that it works on all hardware. So it can be used in core gameplay elements. WHich you simply can't do with PhysX because not everyone have GeForce card. And if not everyone have them, you can't afford to cut off roughly 50% of potential buyers. So they only use PhysX for useless gimmicky stuff no one really cares about.
The level of detail PhysX can provide in software mode has been equal, or arguably better than Havok, and the software mode works on all hardware.

That is probably why right now there are far more games that use PhysX than Havok for physics, by a large margin too.
 
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#24
The level of detail PhysX can provide in software mode has been equal, or arguably better than Havok, and the software mode works on all hardware.

That is probably why right now there are far more games that use PhysX than Havok for physics, by a large margin too.

I can't tell the difference at all. In fact, when enabled physics processing regardless of havoc or physx, I can only notice the difference in the game if I look for it. Physics processing is pretty light on both camps unless you are using hardware accelerated PhysX. Unfortunately, you can only do that with NVIDIA but it does look/feel much better. At the same time, I feel like I've been scammed after buying a game that screams "look at our awesome physics processing built into the game" then realize I have to have NVIDIA graphics to really get it. It's just not a good business practice. People just want the stuff advertised to work.

With this improved engine, hopefully it will be much better, I can see Havok taking over as the new standard. Seriously, developers will jump for this if it works like they claimed. Why would you choose a standard that shuts out half your potential customers.
 
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#25
Havok physics ftw!!!!